Tecumseh Center for the Arts receives Grant Award from Local Foundation
The Elizabeth Ruthruff Wilson Foundation selected Tecumseh Center for the Arts as the grant recipient of $50,000 to go toward the replacement and repairs of the theater’s aging HVAC system. According to the Foundation, it had to approach grant requests differently than they have in past years. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Foundation recognized that performing arts centers and other highly impacted not-for-profit organizations were in dire need of assistance. The Foundation was also unable to support the TCA’s summer series and their annual camp scholarships due to closures from the coronavirus COVID-19.
‘We knew the boiler was on its last leg this past winter and we’ve been raising funds for the boiler for the past 12 months,” Stated TCA Director Kelly Jo Gilmore. “Then, when we switched the building from heating to cooling at the end of May, we were informed that at least one of the air conditioning units was no longer operational and several other units needed repairs. It was heartbreaking given the amount of money we have raised for the boiler to now have to find funding for the AC units as well.”
When considering grant requests, the Elizabeth Ruthruff Wilson Foundation strives to ensure their awards are in alignment with their mission statement and ultimately that the Foundation is living up to the legacy left by its founder, Elizabeth Wilson.
“At our recent meeting, the foundation board reviewed a request from Tecumseh Center for the Arts that outlined their needs as well as the hard work they are doing to keep this community cornerstone operating,” stated Foundation President Theresa Powers. “Elizabeth was on the original board that built the TCA (formerly known as the Civic Auditorium). She believed that a community auditorium was essential to our community. With that in mind, the board unanimously approved awarding the TCA a grant of $50,000 to assist in the replacement of their HVAC system and other necessary repairs. The Elizabeth R. Wilson Foundation is and always will be dedicated to the cultural arts of this community.”
An official presentation of the grant award will take place during Tecumseh’s City Council meeting on Monday, July 20, 2020.
“The TCA staff is incredible grateful for this grant award from the Elizabeth Ruthruff Wilson Foundation,” said Gilmore. “We believe in this theater and the role that it plays in the greater Tecumseh area. I am amazed and inspired by community members and local foundations like the Elizabeth Ruthruff Wilson Foundation that continue to give back to Tecumseh in times of need.”
Tecumseh Center for the Arts strives to be a vital part of the artistic culture of Tecumseh and enrich people’s lives through art and music. As part of the theater’s Strategic Plan, the theater is moving forward with plans for an outdoor Art - Music - Sculpture Park.
The first step in this process is the creation of the TCA Street Art Trail, a community inspired project. The Trail will be located on the North side of the property, surrounding the pole barn. The theater is currently in the process of preparing sheets of plywood for members of the community to paint, before installing them on the sides of the barn.
“Public Art is a growing expectation in progressive communities,” stated Tecumseh City Manager Dan Swallow. “Art contributes to a community's identity, fosters community pride and enhances the quality of life for its residents and visitors.”
Tecumseh Center for the Arts is reaching out to community members, local artists, youth programs and other organizations to participate in the creation of the Street Art Trail. Professional and amateur artists as well as interested community members are invited to participate in the community art project.
“The new Street Art Trail provides an opportunity for the theater to engage the community through the arts during the shutdown,” stated TCA Director Kelly Jo Gilmore. “Since we’re currently unable to host indoor shows or events, we decided to shift our attention to the outdoors and the TCA property. We are thrilled to begin work on phase 1 of our outdoor strategic plan.”
Tecumseh Center for the Arts will provide acrylic paint in primary colors, brushes, mixing plates and rollers. Interested individuals can email firstname.lastname@example.org or download the Street Art Trail Request Form from the theater’s website at www.TheTCA.org.
Tecumseh Center for the Arts would like to have the boards painted and installed this summer with a ribbon cutting ceremony held later this fall.
Behind the scenes of Tecumseh Center for the Arts.